10 Tips for Homebuyers

Buying a new home should be a rewarding experience, not an intimidating one. Some people feel overwhelmed by the process, but a little advance planning can ensure that your experience will be smooth and stress-free. Here are some ideas from real estate experts that can help you find your perfect home.

1. Make a list. What are your “must-have” features? Write down the things that are most important to you, such as extra bedrooms, one-level living or a maintenance-free lifestyle.

2. Housing types. Would you prefer a detached single-family home, or a town home? Now is the time to determine what you want.

3. Location, location. Interested in moving to a warmer climate? Or would you prefer to live near your children? Spend some time thinking about where your ideal home would be located. Some people value a quiet lifestyle, while others want to be close to local restaurants and malls.

4. Do your research. Take some time to surf the web and read magazines for information on neighborhoods or developments of interest. You’ll be able to narrow down your search and save yourself time.

5. Get pre-approved. Find out what kind of mortgages you qualify for, and familiarize yourself with the mortgage process. Shop around to get the best rate. A pre-approval will tell you up-front how much money you can borrow and what your payment terms will be.

6. Set a budget. Once you know the amount of money you are qualified to borrow, you can easily determine a price range for potential homes.

7. Go house hunting! Tour the homes that match your criteria. Take notes so you’ll remember the features of each individual home. Later, you can rate the homes you visited and help narrow your choices.

8. Found your dream home? Go ahead and submit an offer. Determine how much you are willing to pay, and submit it in writing. You might end up negotiating a few times until a purchase price is agreed upon.

9. You’re almost home. Once your offer is accepted, you’ll be ready to schedule the closing. Once you have a closing date, you can schedule a move-in date. Contact some local movers, and compare prices.

10. The big day. All the hard work is behind you – now it’s time to relax and enjoy your new home!